Be flexible. Go with the flow. Be adaptable. These words could not be more apt in our present times.
Flashback to last December when my family flew to Budapest for a Jonathan Edwards conference …
I was sitting at a small breakfast table in an old Hungarian kitchen one morning musing on being in a foreign country. We had arrived the night before and had walked through the pouring rain while dragging multiple bags and managing umbrellas while trying to avoid slipping down on the narrow rain-soaked sidewalks as tiny European cars zipped out along the streets from everywhere. The lights shining on the blackness of the slick streets gave an ominous, yet enchanting glow. After the long trek from the bus stop, we finally made it safely to our apartment.
As I now looked about the kitchen and felt its warmth and imagined all its former occupants, I thought about all the different situations we were encountering — the language, the customs, the currency.
As I was thinking about these things, my eyes fell upon a tiny, but crucial item — the adaptor.
The inconspicuous device was plugged into the wall. It boasted only one plug outlet and two USB ports. It was small and unobtrusive. Yet, as I was sitting there partaking of my morning pastry, I thought about all the necessary parts of daily life that this little connector piece made possible.
It gave us the ability to use the hairdryer, the iron, and the all-important phone charger. It gave us power to take pictures with the camera phone, gain access to public transit schedules, make payments, and communicate within our group and with others. It was the conduit for all essential elements of the trip.
Without this seemingly insignificant item, all these daily-life functions would stop.
One day on the trip, our daughter spent the night with a friend and took the one and only adaptor with her. It was hers after all, so totally understandable. But, at first thought, this caused a moment of panic. “Ahhh, she’s taking the adaptor!!! And, we’re in a foreign country!!! How am I going to dry my hair and take pictures???”
Life as we knew it was going to cease for a bit.
We had to become adaptable. No, we needed to become the adaptor. The ones to effectively plug in to the new situations surrounding us.
With forethought, planning, and ingenuity, we were able to survive, and dare I say, thrive, during the few hours away from the precious little device.
Fast forward to now and the past few months …
Adaptability. A needed quality for our current times?
I would say a hearty “Yes!”
We keep hearing words and phrases such as pivot, wait and see, and changing times.
We might initially respond with:
“I don’t like change!”
“I like knowing the plan!”
“I like doing the things that we always do, the way we always do them!”
Current times require being adaptable. We need to become the adaptor, the mechanism through which strange landscapes become livable and doable.
While keeping on course and staying committed to truth, adaptability is the key to navigating well.
Adaptability requires … what was it again? Oh, right, forethought, planning, and ingenuity.
Let’s think about 2020.
Seeing new ways of doing old things.
Keeping the traditions alive but giving them a new twist.
Knowing the goals and pursuing them creatively.
Sometimes we need to go with the flow, be flexible, and oh, yes, be adaptable! And, sometimes, we need to be the adaptor.
by Stephanie Boss, CCS 5th Grade Teacher